When this Nets team was put together last summer, it was easy and understandable to focus on the $190 million price tag, including both payroll and luxury-tax commitments, and the lengthy list of All-Stars on the roster. But since the Nets began their remarkable turnaround with their come-from-behind win in Oklahoma City on Jan. 2, the Nets have been spurred on as much by contributions from players Nets general manager Billy King got for low-budget deals over the past two summers as they have been by the star-studded starting lineup. The lineup King expected to put on the court this summer is earning a combined $82.5 million this season. “We’ve developed a trust and a bond in the last couple of months,” coach Jason Kidd said after the Nets beat the Heat 96-95 Wednesday night. “Team basketball, that’s who we are. It’s not just one guy. “We always try to have someone to give us a lift. That’s how we’ll win, and that’s how we’ll lose.” Take Wednesday’s win over the two-time defending champion Heat, for example. Shaun Livingston, who is playing on a veteran’s minimum contract after spending the past several years battling back from a gruesome knee injury, made the game-saving play in the final moments, keeping LeBron James from catching an inbounds pass from Chris Bosh.
Low-earning role players have Nets on a roll
New York Post | Mar 14